The top Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia has used his own television show to warns Twitter users that the micro-blogging site is the "source of all evil and devastation".

Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, who is the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, spoke on Monday during his Fatwa television show, according to a report from AFP.

"If it were used correctly, it could be of real benefit, but unfortunately it's exploited for trivial matters," al-Sheikh said.

He added that Twitter is "the source of all evil and devastation" and "people are rushing to it thinking it's a source of credible information, but it's a source of lies and falsehood."

Twitter is hugely popular among both men and women in the ultra-conservative state, and has sparked heated religious and political debate.

According to the Global Web Index in 2012 Saudi Arabia had the highest percentage of active Twitter users in the world, with more than 50% of its online population using the micro-blogging service.

The explosion in interest in the service is often credited to the Arab Spring revolution in 2011, when information was disseminated using Twitter and other social media outlets.

The reaction on Twitter to al-Sheikh's comments was mixed. Some agreed with him, with one respondent writing:

  • "I swear the mufti has spoken the truth; the evils of Twitter are many."

While others questioned his opinion:

  • "Respected sheikh, how can you judge something without using it?"

And others still mocked the cleric:

  • "This is why I will repent, and close my account to distance myself from this great evil."